MATCH REPORT: Hawks Re-gain Winning Feeling

Box Hill have returned to the winners’ list, bouncing back from last weekends loss to Casey with a 22-point win away to the Northern Blues.

The win consolidates top spot and maintains the Hawks’ one game gap on Port Melbourne in second and the chasing pack behind.

Despite near perfect conditions to the naked eye, the Blues and Hawks were made to contend with a unpredictably swirly breeze that favoured the Bruce or Bell Street end of the ground.

Box Hill had their first win of the match at the toss and looked to make the most of kicking with the breeze in the opening term, controlling possession and territory for the opening thirty minutes.

Ty Vickery opened his and the Hawks’ account after four minutes, ensuring the conditions weren’t a factor as he strolled right to the goal line.

Shortly after Brendan Whitecross showed his experience to find space forty-five out on better than a forty-five degree angle and expertly judged the conditions to steer his set shot right through the middle.

Northern were defending manfully kicking into the wind, and despite twenty minutes of near ceaseless attack on the Blues’ defensive 50, the visiting Hawks had just two goals to show for their dominance.

Encouragingly, when Box Hill’s need to defend came a pair of youngsters were more than up to the challenge, with the returning Ayden Kennedy and second gamer Joe Fisher showing exceptional courage and clean hands to clear the danger and springboard their team out of the back half.

Whitecross, James Cousins and Andrew Moore were typically tough in the clinches and each was winning their share of contested ball to keep the pressure on Northern in search for more elusive six-pointers.

Frustratingly the Blues found their first of the afternoon via the boot of Dylan Buckley, but Anthony Brolic pounced on a turnover at half forward and fired home his first to restore the Hawks’ three-kick lead into quarter time.

With the wind at their backs the Blues started the second quarter positively. Fortunately they failed to convert, with three chances coming in quick succession and all sailing or bouncing the wrong side of the post.

Solid defensive efforts from Sam Gibson, Ty Vickery and Harry Morrison kept the Blues at bay, but only until Rhys Palmer nailed the first of the quarter on ten minutes.

Chris Jones was presenting well out of centre half forward, playing as an isolated target and providing a strong contest to bring the ball to ground for the likes of Adduci, Stewart and Brolic.

It was Adduci who capitalised on the pressure established by a couple of repeat inside 50s, keeping calm in the chaos to punt through a much needed steadier from close range. The opportunity owed itself in large part to the creativity of Vickery, who tapped on knowing Adduci was running through on goal.

Carlton-listed youngster Patrick Kerr ensured the half ended on a high-note for the hosts, bouncing through a beautifully measured sixty metre kick for goal to limit Box Hill’s advantage to one straight goal.

The Hawks started the second half in control and searched hard for the crucial moment to break the contest open.

When Brolic kicked his second, Kade Stewart his first and Adduci added a second of his own, Box Hill had edged away to a seemingly decisive 25-point break on the back of eighteen hard fought minutes.

Stand-in skipper Max Warren took flight and pulled in a huge contested mark in defence, showing the sort of effort and bravery that would be required to see the game out, before Andrew Gallucci dribbled through the Blues’ first of the term to keep them in the hunt.

In the shadows of three quarter time Vickery worried his opponent into a hold, winning and then goalling from a free kick to add his name to the list of multiple goal kickers and, crucially, restore his team’s four kick lead.

Northern began the last quarter in an ominous mood, pulling a goal back inside a minute thanks to the boot of Jarrod Pickett. Harry McKay and then Rhys Palmer each missed gettable set shots as the Hawks defence came under a heavy aerial bombardment.

With ten minutes played the Blues had kicked 1.6 and, despite bridging the gap to a gettable 11-points, looked to be burning too many chances.

So it proved, when on twelve minutes Vickery marked outside 50 and convinced everyone but Anthony Brolic he’d be kicking for goal.

Brolic read the big forward’s run up better than anyone, reacting to the short kick to twenty-five and marking uncontested. His reward for his awareness? A third goal for the afternoon.

With time and the scoreboard on the visitors’ side Stewart typified the Hawks desperation with a huge fly and mark, before Vickery kicked truly to extend the margin back to 23-points and have his side on the cusp of victory.

Harry McKay ensured a nervy finish when he kicked truly from fifty, but Vincent Adduci saved his best goal of the afternoon for last, judging the bounce of the ball better than his opponent, seeing him off with strength and snapping the sealer with twenty eight minutes on the clock.

It was far from pretty, but Box Hill had done what they needed to and would drive back down Bell Street with exactly what they came for: all four points.

Box Hill                   3.4    4.7    8.10    11.11  77
Northern Blues     
1.1    3.7    4.11      6.19  55

GOALS: Vickery 3, Adduci 3, Brolic 3, Whitecross, Stewart

DISPOSALS: Whitecross 25 (5 clearances), Cousins 25 (5 tackles), Miles 23 (6 marks), Moore 21 (9 tackles, 8 clearances)

 

Vic Development

In earlier action a spirited effort from the development boys secured their first victory since round 5.

In a tight and often testy contest, the Hawks dominated for large periods but failed to convert that control into a decisive advantage.

Kicking into the breeze in the final term, Andrew Shakespeare’s young charges dug deep to withstand a late rally and, like the senior side, claim the points.

Box Hill                  3.5     5.8     9.12     11.14  80
Northern Blues    
2.0    6.2     7.2       11.6  72

Goals: Dimasi 2, Haynes 2, Davies, Maloney, Codd-Miller, Kilpatrick, Murphy, Williams, O’Sullivan

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